Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes was not short of praise for Ross McCrorie after the utility man’s excellent weekend performance.
The current Rangers loanee turned in a dominant midfield display against Hibs as the Dons secured an impressive 1-0 win. A penalty from Lewis Ferguson settled things between the sides at Easter Road.
McCrorie’s performance was the standout display from those in red on a day of very good individual moments across the pitch. McInnes has hailed the Scotland youth international’s drive to succeed following his exit from Rangers.
“Ross knows the game and he is equally at home in various positions,” said McInnes. “He played right of a back three on Thursday and he has the athleticism to break out from there and snuff out the danger. We went three against three on Thursday because we have a lot of trust in him, Considine and McKenna.
“His athleticism gets him out of trouble, he has a football brain that gets him into position, his intelligence and power is relevant especially when he plays in midfield. When you line up in a team with four quick wingers ahead of you, Hayes, Kennedy, Wright, Hedges and Watkins, they are not the most responsible against the ball but what they do give you is that threat. I thought we had that common sense and responsibility behind them from McCrorie and Ferguson and it allowed the others to play.
“When we got into their final third, the speed and movement was nice to watch, we worked their keeper a few times, we were just a bit scruffy with that final pass. With Ross having that power and intelligence in there it allows us to play with one or two more attacking players at times.
“I love the boy. I think he is a dream both on and off the pitch. I like boys who are hungry, I like boys who are motivated. A lot of boys leave the Old Firm and think it is downhill from there and a lot of them because they think that, they don’t go on and do anything of note.
“He is different. He didn’t want to be in the shadows, he didn’t want to just become a Rangers squad player. He wanted to get out and get on with his career. I love that about him, and he deserves a lot of credit for that. I know Rangers see qualities in him but the fact that Ross was in such a hurry to get on and get out was testament to him. He will get his reward for that.
“Young boys between the ages of 20-23, you need to be playing games to fulfil your career. If you’re not playing games at that age, then you will not have the career that you are capable of. He is getting the opportunity to play games for us on a regular basis and he will only get better. It is good for other people to recognise that. I just love him in an Aberdeen shirt, I absolutely love him.
“I think he has been on every list we have ever had for recruiting young Scottish players. I hoped but I never knew with any certainty that we would get him. He wasn’t a priority for me, I needed a striker when we had four out. Thankfully the board were supportive and saw the sense in the succession planning and getting an asset in the building.”